Clarinet and saxophone player who played a wide variety of genres, including swing and jazz. He was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1987.
His first instrument was violin, but he did not stay interested in it. He saw Alcide "Yellow" Nunez play when he was young and was inspired to play jazz clarinet.
He performed with many bandleaders and started a residence at "Nick's" in Greenwich Village.
His wife Mary encouraged him to pursue visual abstract art.
He performed with Thelonious Monk in 1963 at the Newport Festival.